Welcome to Jing Daily’s China Luxury Brief: the day’s top news on the business of luxury and culture in China, all in one place. Look below for the top industry news from January 29, 2014.
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Global Luxury Retailers Gear Up For Chinese New Year Shoppers
“Bergdorf Goodman, for example, has set up elaborate window displays for the holiday, featuring items from Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Tom Ford and Lavin, bathed in red light and flanked by papier-mâché horses. Bergdorf is offering a promotion with UnionPay, a Chinese payment system: Customers who spend $3,000 with a qualifying UnionPay card receive a $300 gift card, while those who spend $10,000 receive a $500 gift card. Bergdorf also has Mandarin-speaking greeters with Chinese name tags, a Chinese-language website, and an account on Weibo, a leading Chinese social network.”
WeChat’s Chinese New Year Cash-Giving Game Draws Users To Payment Service
“The giving of hongbao, or money-filled red envelopes, is an annual tradition for Chinese New Year that places importance not only on the value of the RMB inside the envelope, but the delivery package itself. While this has led to the creation of ultra-luxe hongbao designs, mobile messaging appWeChat has just released a version of “red envelope” delivery for the more tech-savvy gifters.”
What we’re reading:
“The country, including the wine hub of Hong Kong, consumed 155 million nine-liter cases (1.87 billion bottles) of red wine in 2013, according to new research released this week. The report was commissioned by Vinexpo, a Bordeaux-based wine industry conference, and conducted by the International Wine & Spirit Research, an independent research firm for the liquor trade.”
“Chinese package-tour bookings to Bangkok and the neighboring beach resort of Pattaya in the coming Lunar New Year break have fallen by 90% compared with the previous year, said Davidstone Sek, a director at Bangkok-based tour-group operator CCT Express Co., which specializes in serving Chinese tour groups.”
“Such buying by locally resident Chinese and those from mainland China is inflating housing bubbles in and around Sydney, where prices in some suburbs have surged as much as 27 percent in the past year. That’s almost three times faster than the overall market.”
Fashion Heralds The Chinese New Year With Lucky Red
“If the global reach of a culture’s high days and holidays reflects both cultural and economic dominance, the worldwide devotion to Halloween could soon be superceded by Chinese new year, which falls handily in the fallow retail period between Christmas and Valentine’s Day. That it is considered lucky to buy new clothes to wear for new year no doubt endears the occasion to the fashion industry. At the upper echelons of Chinese society, this tradition has led to the January haute couture shows in Paris becoming an important annual shopping excursion. In the shoe industry, the Chinese superstition that it is unlucky to buy new shoes during the first fortnight of the new year is now factored in by the smarter labels; on the website of hip luxury shoemaker Charlotte Olympia, customers are reassured that their order of the “Eastern Cosmic Collection” will be delivered before Friday’s cut-off date.
Party’s Over For Luxury Decorator In China
“Shares in Chinese luxury-goods suppliers fell Tuesday as the Communist Party’s campaign against lavish government spending turned against a businessman who made a fortune selling marble and chandeliers for public buildings.”
Asia’s Second-Richest Lui Plans To Expand Casino Empire
“Lui, the richest person in Asia after Hong Kong property tycoon Li Ka-Shing, plans to expand his business empire beyond Macau and said he’s open to acquiring U.S. casinos. Meanwhile, Galaxy, which is spending about $10 billion to expand its gambling resort in the former Portuguese colony, may also invest HK$10 billion ($1.3 billion) in nearby Hengqin island, said Lui. He also plans to set up a charity to build schools in China.”